Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who is the Lovingest of Us All?

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "who you are speaks so loudly I can't hear what you are saying." The practical current scientific thought reflected here is the concept of Mirror Neurons.

Mirror-Girl-Unhappy "Many scientists have come to believe that we understand others not by thinking, but by feeling. For mirror neurons appear to let us “simulate” not just other people’s actions, but the intentions and emotions behind those actions. When you see someone smile, for example, your mirror neurons for smiling fire up, too, creating a sensation in your own mind of the feeling associated with smiling. You don’t have to think about what the other person intends by smiling. You experience the meaning immediately and effortlessly.

This serendipitous discovery of mirror neurons—a special class of brain cells that fire not only when an individual performs an action, but also when the individual observes someone else make the same movement—has radically altered the way we think about our brains and ourselves, particularly our social selves." *

Mirror-Girl-HappyThis underlying scientific principle called mirror neurons essentially, is that mirror neurons are just like a mirror. When you look in the mirror and you smile, the reflection smiles back at you. When you look in the mirror and you frown, the reflection frowns back at you. When you look in the mirror and you yell, the reflection yells back at you. We have mirror neurons in our brain, which mirror what we see.

In relationship to your child, if you’re approaching your child from a place of positive energy, your child is going to be reflecting that back to you. I want you to take this as an example. Just for today, when your child comes home, or whenever you get a chance, I just want you to walk by, happen to catch your child’s attention and I want you to smile at them and you will notice in most instances, they will smile back. Try it, see what happens and let me know.

Think of this old saying the next time you interact with your child or anyone...“when you smile, the whole world smiles with you”.

Choose Love.

— B

* Source: http://www.brainfacts.org/brain-basics/neuroanatomy/articles/2008/mirror-neurons/

Have a Happy Holiday? Maybe, Maybe Not…

I recall one Christmas where one adopted RAD son had an absolute meltdown at my in-laws Christmas Day huge family gathering. Although I don’t recall how it began, I can imagine it began like most other “out of control” events, with a simple little, even maybe tiny thing or incident that I, in my parenting ignorance fanned into a bonfire of mess. We eventually had four adults each grab one of my son’s limbs while he screamed bloody murder, fighting, kicking trying to bite as we carried him back into the house with some of the family members shouting things like - I know a local cop - want me to call him? or Should we take him to the hospital? None of this was necessary. In fact, once I calmed down and let him just calm down, he played by himself in a room till all was well. He just wanted to be left alone. I have come to see that a little bit of Bryan can go a long way from keeping 'all those itty bitty little things' from turning into weapons of mass destruction.

Talk about embarrassing… The family, kind enough with their intentions, knew that our adopted son was of course to blame and offered us Santa-Lettertheir condolences for our situation. And this was after we had met Bryan Post. As impressed as we were with his new paradigm parenting approach for children with trauma histories, it was just not enough to “Get my Bryan on” and do the right thing. Even after years and years, and working for the Post Institute for seven of those, I still have trouble doing the right thing. How do I manage all this failure? By realizing that there is no “right thing”, just the next best thing that I can do - and a lot of it turns out not so good. But a lot turns out good. And this is why I do this work.

I know how not to do it. I just need more practice, more reading, more understanding, more love… more Bryan.
So to help you with with your holiday season, to help you to have a Happy Holiday rather than one like I describe above, here are some tools,tips and techniques that can help you Get Your Bryan On this year. We will be offering these over the next couple of weeks in emails, our Facebook Page and our Blog. Let us know what you learn this year and how things work for you.

Have a calm and peaceful holiday season.

Choose Peace.

How to Have a Peaceful Holiday Season – Part 10 Epilogue

Note: This is a yearly re-broadcast series to help parents prepare for, and have a more peaceful holiday season, we will be presenting the entire contents of my e-Book How to Turn Holiday Stress into Peaceful Family Time – On Sale for the Holidays between now and Christmas.

Don’t let the Holidays sneak up on you—they come every year around the same time. Many of our children have great difficulty staying regulated during this time—as do their parents. Be prepared. Plan ahead. Don’t let your frustration, fear or anger ruin the season. Use the Stress Model to help bring calm and peace on earth and goodwill toward all— especially children and parents!

Epilogue | This holiday season, your family is going to experience more peace this holiday season than any of the other families you’re going to be in contact with. This is going to be the most peaceful holiday season of any holiday season you’ve had up to this point because you are taking these necessary steps.

Number one, you’re honoring that window of tolerance. Number two, you’re going to be checking in and doing time-in. Number three, you are being proactive. Number four, you’re going to recognize that you can’t always be there and that’s okay...and when you’re not there and you needed to be there, you’re going back to time-in. You’re going to go right back and recognize that window tolerance and that’s being proactive. You’re not just doing it for yourself. You’re doing it for the rest of your family. You’re doing it for your children. You’re doing it for your spouse. You’re doing it for everyone.
You know what? You’re going to do all these things because you are a great parent. You are a really great parent. There’s a little Biblical verse that says, “Let us love not in word or speech but in truth and action.” This holiday season we’re going to operate in truth and action. Remember, it’s not what you say or do. It’s how you feel when you’re doing and saying it. Remember to breathe, four, seven, eight, four, seven, eight, four, seven, and eight. Stress, stressed, spelled backwards equals desserts. We’re going to take being stressed out this holiday season and we’re going to turn this holiday season into the dessert of our lifetime.

Santa JesusI want to say to you and to your family may God Bless You and wish you the happiest holiday season ever, ever, ever, and ever! You are a great parent. Thank you for joining us and caring enough to make a difference. Don’t forget to visit us at www.postinstitute.com. After you’ve read this e-book or listened the audio program, send it to the rest of the family. You can make copies of it. You’ve got my permission. I want all of your family members to have peaceful holiday seasons. Thank you for following How to Turn Stressful Holidays into Peaceful Family Time.

Choose Love,

B.
If you have enjoyed this series, we have a home study course for parenting attachment challenged children that goes so much deeper into our love based family centered parenting approach. Click here to read more about it.

You have permission to copy this and circulate to as many people as you think can be helped Help us to bring peace on earth and goodwill toward all.

Timeless wisdom for preparing yourself and your challenging child for a smooth transition through the Holiday Season. Don’t let your fear of the past haunt you this year. Get Bryan’s 4 Point Plan – Don’t let the holidays just happen!

Holiday book and cd v.2To purchase this twin-pack e-Book and mp3 audio file on sale for only $4.95 click here.

How to Have a Peaceful Holiday Season – Part 9 Mealtime

Note: This is a yearly re-broadcast series to help parents prepare for, and have a more peaceful holiday season, we will be presenting the entire contents of my e-Book How to Turn Holiday Stress into Peaceful Family Time – On Sale for the Holidays between now and Christmas.

Don’t let the Holidays sneak up on you—they come every year around the same time. Many of our children have great difficulty staying regulated during this time—as do their parents. Be prepared. Plan ahead. Don’t let your frustration, fear or anger ruin the season. Use the Stress Model to help bring calm and peace on earth and goodwill toward all— especially children and parents!

Mealtime | Let’s also discuss mealtime. Mealtime is always an overwhelming time during the holidays. Why? Because we’re stressed. S-T-R-E-S-S, that little six letter word that causes so much havoc and so much chaos during the family
season. But guess what? You can turn stressful holidays into peaceful family time. Mealtime is going to be different this year. This year, twenty minutes before it’s time to eat, you’re going to pull your child out the stress. You’re going to pull yourself out of the stress too. You and your child are going to get out of that house. Whatever house you’re in, it’s likely stressful. You’re going to get out of there. This is where you’re going to get in some of that time together with your child. Spend some of that time together and you know what will happen? Your child might not like it! You have to honor that.

You have to say, “I know honey. You are playing and you guys are having fun and you don’t want to leave. I understand and I would be upset too, and it’s okay for you to be upset. But I know that we’re going to be getting ready to eat soon. I want you to be able to eat the food that you want to eat and then I want you to be able to play with your cousins after you’ve eaten.”

You’re going to honor that, you’re going to recognize that, you’re going to acknowledge it, twenty minutes before mealtime. You’re going to pull your child out because when you’re doing that you’re creating regulation. You’re creating an opportunity to be calm for yourself and for your child. So that’s mealtime. What about sweets? Let your children have sweets, but not too much. Talk with the rest of the family. After you’ve finished eating, put the food away, especially, the sweets and the soda.

Have you ever noticed how kids go in and out of the kitchen all day long during the holidays? At the end of the day, you find little pieces of pie here, half glasses of soda there, and spilled cans of pop everywhere. Have you noticed that? Guess what we’re going to do this year? We’re going to put the soda away and you’re going to tell the kids that if they want more dessert after dinner, let an adult know.

Better yet, come and let you know. Take responsibility for your child. You’ll be setting an example for other family Holidays are not normalmembers to take responsibility for their children. You’re really going to be regulating their sugar intake. Some sugar is good. It’s helps them to actually feel a little better. But too much sugar sends them over the edge. One point to keep in mind is that we are not conditioned for holidays. They are holidays. We call them holidays for a reason. It’s a special occasion in the middle of the year, in the middle of the week, in the middle of the month. What happens is, we are conditioned to be going places like school or work. We’re not conditioned to be spending all of that time together. You
usually spend all that time apart. Now you’re spending all that time together.

DisneyworldRemember that window of tolerance? Keep that in mind. Another thing to really keep in mind is all the stimulation.  Sensory overload can be experienced by both you and your child. If you have been to Times Square in NY, recall the first time you were there—the huge buildings, the lights, the 250,000 people that cross through there every day—and the noises! For any first timers, this is an overwhelming experience. Or, seeing Disneyland for the first time as a five year old! This is what much of life is like for these children. And that is on a normal day. So you must be mindful of the jingles, the malls, the Wal-marts, the turkeys, the pumpkins, the Santa Claus and all of that stimulation. Be mindful of that. Be aware of over-stimulation.

Be in tune with your child. That’s the dance between the parent and the child. Be in tune with your child recognizing his internal state. Recognize when they are starting to get out of their zone of comfort. When you do all of these things, you’re honoring stress and fear. You’re not denying it. You’re not sticking your heard inside the turkey. You’re actually honoring the stress and the fear. You’re honoring the fact that according to the stress model, all the negative behaviors
you have seen over the years arise from stress and fear. You’re going to acknowledge, you’re going to understand, you’re going to appreciate and you’re going to feel enlightened by the fact that your child, God Bless his or her soul, has a very, very sensitive system. You’re going to honor that. You’re going to set your child up to be successful.

Coming Up Next… Epilogue

You have permission to copy this and circulate to as many people as you think can be helped Help us to bring peace on earth and goodwill toward all.

Timeless wisdom for preparing yourself and your challenging child for a smooth transition through the Holiday Season. Don’t let your fear of the past haunt you this year. Get Bryan’s 4 Point Plan – Don’t let the holidays just happen!

Holiday book and cd v.2To purchase this twin-pack e-Book and mp3 audio file on sale for only $4.95 click here.

How to Have a Peaceful Holiday Season – Part 8 The Arrival

Note: This is a yearly re-broadcast series to help parents prepare for, and have a more peaceful holiday season, we will be presenting the entire contents of my e-Book How to Turn Holiday Stress into Peaceful Family Time – On Sale for the Holidays between now and Christmas.

Don’t let the Holidays sneak up on you—they come every year around the same time. Many of our children have great difficulty staying regulated during this time—as do their parents. Be prepared. Plan ahead. Don’t let your frustration, fear or anger ruin the season. Use the Stress Model to help bring calm and peace on earth and goodwill toward all— especially children and parents!

The Arrival | Okay, you arrive at the in-laws house. You pull up into the driveway and stop. You tell everyone to take a deep breath. Breathe, breathe, breathe. Remember you’ve been breathing the entire drive so this is easy for you now. You’re going to say to your child, “Okay, honey, I know it’s going to be kind of stressful in here. I know there’s going to be a lot of activity but we’re going to be fine. If you find yourself becoming really stressed or really scared you come tell mommy, and we’ll take a little break and we’ll take a little walk. Mommy is going to do the same with you. If I start feeling myself really stressed, if I start feeling scared at all I’m going to come and get you and you can help me feel safe, okay?

We’ll take a little walk together and then we’ll go back to doing what we were doing but we’re going to need to take that little break.” Have that communication with your child and then you’re ready to go in. Next is when the window of  tolerance comes into play. Before you go inside and everyone starts to acclimate themselves with one another, even before you get out of the car, you’re going to tell your child it’s okay to stay with you as much as she wants. They can  come and sit by you. They can come stand in the kitchen, sit in the kitchen close to you. They can do that at any point.

You’re going to make sure they understand that. I know, you may not like that thought. I understand that but you didn’t like last year either. That’s why you don’t want to do the same thing you always do. Mr. T.D. Jakes says, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always be where you’ve already been.”

We’re going to do something different now. Let your child know its okay. It’s your responsibility to keep them safe. As  soon as you get in, your child, of course, will probably take off with all the other kids. You look at your watch. By now  you have a real good idea what their window of tolerance is. You know their window of tolerance and how much they can  handle. So look at your watch and start timing them. After about eight minutes, get up and you go check on your child. Call them over, look them in the eye, kiss them, pat them, ask if they’re having fun and they will say, “Yea, mom.” Then say, “Okay, do you need anything?” They will say, “No mom.” Then say, “All right have a good time!”

“Give your child’s brain an opportunity to regulate and prepare for the next transition”

Let them go back and play and you go back and continue doing what you were doing. It’s going to take you ten seconds to check in with them, but look at it this way. It’s a ten second investment, a ten second investment that’s going to pay off for fifteen minutes. That’s powerful. By investing that ten seconds, your child will be able to play approximately fifteen minutes without another contact. Then start your timer again. Remember that what you’re doing is you’re recognizing, understanding, respecting and honoring the window of tolerance. You’re not setting them up to go outside their window
of tolerance. You’re meeting them before their window of tolerance expires. As soon as you make contact and meet them before their window of tolerance expires, it resets itself and it adds another half of the existing window of tolerance.

Now you’re up to fifteen minutes. Keep checking every fifteen minutes. What’s going to happen if you let it go longer than fifteen minutes before checking in? Within sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen minutes, your child will be yelling. Another child will be yelling. There will be a fight breaking out. You’re not just being proactive for your child, you’re making this Holiday season better for the whole family by being  proactive. You’re taking responsibility. Every time you go and make contact with your child, that’s going to have an influence on everyone else’s child too.

I know this is a lot of information; take a deep breath. Yes, you’ll have an impact not only on your child, but on everyone
else’s child too. You’re going to do this repeatedly. You ’re going to make another contact with your child. You’re going to go and hit that window of tolerance again before its eclipsed and each time you do that you can buy yourself a little more time. What you’re going to find is that you’ve gone through the entire morning and afternoon with no problems.

You’re going to do this three times. On the third time, you’re going to say to your child, “Honey, come here for a minute.” Then say, “I’m feeling a little stressed right now. Would you mind if we took a little walk outside real quick. Then you can come back and play.” Most times they are going say, “Sure.” They may protest and you’re going to tell them, “I really  need it, I really need it. I’m feeling so stressed right now. I just need to spend some time with you. Give me five minutes.”

You’re going to take those five minutes. You’re going to go outside. You’re going to walk down the driveway and you’re going to come back. It’s that simple.

Hey, Santa! We’re not buying into stress this year! You’re going to take those five minutes and then your child is going to back to play. You’re feeling good right now. You’re feeling good because you are having a successful Thanksgiving Day. You are having a successful Christmas, okay.

Now what happens if you’re child begins to act out and the seeds of a problem begin to appear? Because you’ve been checking in regularly and honoring that window of tolerance, guess what? They don’t blow up. If you walk in there, you’re child is in the corner, arms crossed, angry look on their face, then you just walked in at the best time! Hooray for you. You just cut off a potentially bad situation. Now you can go in and sit down by your child and whisper, “What’s up?”

“You’re taking responsibility. Every time you go and make contact with your child, that’s going to have an influence on everyone else’s child too.”

“Well, Johnny took the toy from me and Johnny always does this every single year.” Remember their kids do the same thing. They are conditioned. We’ve done a good job as parents of conditioning children. So now you’re going to say, “Let’s go out for a little bit.” Now, you’re interrupting your child’s stress.

Success, success, success! If your child begins to act out, then you do time-in. The only difference from time-out and time-in is that you bring your child into you in time-in. Time-in can be the walk down the driveway. Time-in can be  bringing your child in while you’re sitting down talking with the in-laws while watching the football game or while the turkey is basting or while you’re digesting that last piece of pecan pie, which was probably not the last, but was actually the third piece, which point you finally decided was the last piece! But then not quite. You’re going to have one more sliver before you retire for the night or head home. That’s just the kind of thing we do during the holidays, right?

So you’re going to bring your child in and you’re going to have her sit with you for a while. This is what you say. “Why don’t you just hang out with me for a while? When you are feeling better you can go back and play.” Allow your child to own a little bit of what most children can handle...”when you are feeling better you can go back and play.”

Most children will sit by you for twice as long as they would if you would have given them the time-out requirement. Not only are you respecting and honoring the window of tolerance, you are practicing time-in. You’re being proactive. Even though you check the window of tolerance, you do time-in, you worked at being proactive, sometimes your child ends up
running around screaming. Then the other little cousin is running and screaming right behind him. One of them is yelling, “He did it!” The other is saying, “He did it!” You know how that story goes. What happens now?

You breathe. You take a deep breath and you begin to breathe. You practice your four, seven, eight. You say to your child, “Its okay. Come here. Sit down. It’s all right.” Your child is trying to defend himself because they are all in survival mode. This is an important to know. In times of stress, we constrict into survival. In times of stress, the cells of our body actually constrict into survival. The moment you become stressed out, you are in survival. You’re no longer present for your child because stress does three things:

  1. • Stress causes you to react out of the past. Stress says, “Oh no. It’s going to be just like last year!”
  2. • Stress causes you to obsess about the future. You think, “Oh No! This year or next year will be the same. We’re NEVER going to have a good holiday season ever, ever, ever and ever.
  3. • It takes you out of the present. As soon as it takes you out of the present, you are officially no longer in the here and now. As long as that is happening, as long as you are not in the here or now, you’re not anywhere. So breathe and stay present. Breathe and stay present.

“In times of stress, the cells of our body actually constrict into survival. The moment you become stressed out, you are  in survival”

So far, what you’ve been able to do is honor the window of tolerance. You’ve been able to do time-in. You’ve been able to be proactive. When you can’t always be there, you’re going to recognize that that’s okay. You’re going to take some deep breaths. You’re going to pull your child into you and you’re going to say, “Son, just sit down here with dad for a little bit.”

You know what? It may be time to actually take a break and spend some time with your child. Go outside, toss a ball  around. Make sure you bring one with you, like a basketball. Go for a walk down the street. Take a drive to the store. Go to the park. Sometimes you’re going to need to do that and I’m going to recommend you do that at least twice during the day. Your child is going to need that one on one contact time with you because that helps them to regulate.
Got that? If you can do these four things you will have a different result:
• 1. The window of tolerance.
• 2. The time-in.
• 3. Being proactive
• 4. Recognizing that you can’t always be there and that’s okay; and breathe using the four, seven, eight count
when you can’t be there and you are on your way to success!

Coming Up Next… Mealtime

You have permission to copy this and circulate to as many people as you think can be helped Help us to bring peace on earth and goodwill toward all.

Timeless wisdom for preparing yourself and your challenging child for a smooth transition through the Holiday Season. Don’t let your fear of the past haunt you this year. Get Bryan’s 4 Point Plan – Don’t let the holidays just happen!

Holiday book and cd v.2To purchase this twin-pack e-Book and mp3 audio file on sale for only $4.95 click here.

How to Have a Peaceful Holiday Season – Part 7 The Morning

Note: This is a yearly re-broadcast series to help parents prepare for, and have a more peaceful holiday season, we will be presenting the entire contents of my e-Book How to Turn Holiday Stress into Peaceful Family Time – On Sale for the Holidays between now and Christmas.

Don’t let the Holidays sneak up on you—they come every year around the same time. Many of our children have great difficulty staying regulated during this time—as do their parents. Be prepared. Plan ahead. Don’t let your frustration, fear or anger ruin the season. Use the Stress Model to help bring calm and peace on earth and goodwill toward all— especially children and parents!

The Morning | All right you’re going to get up. You’re going to wake your children up slowly. This will help their Circadian rhythm, an area in their brain, a body/mind experience controlled by a little area in the brain. This helps their Circadian rhythms turn on slowly and wake up. After you’ve done that, you give them five or ten minutes. I teach a parenting technique called Ten-Twenty-Ten. It gives your child ten minutes of quality time and attention first thing in the morning before they wake up. They receive twenty minutes in the afternoon when they arrive home from school or you get home from work. Finally, give them ten minutes of quality time and attention in the evening. If you’ll do that, it will have a significant impact on your child’s behavior. It will have a significant positive impact.

Once we have our children fully awake, they start getting ready. They’ve been calmly awakened. They feel good. We’re going to give them a nutritious breakfast. A tasty, nutritious breakfast will start their systems activated correctly. Then they are going to get dressed and we’re going to be heading out the door early this time. We’re not waiting until the last minute. We’re leaving early. For some adoptive or foster parents, there might be additional considerations. They might be afraid to get into the car.

What are you going to say to a child who is afraid. The child could be ten and under. They could even be twelve and under. Typically, teenagers can handle this transition a little easier. What you’re going to say to your child is, “I know getting in the car can feel scary but we’ll be back and you’ll be okay. We’re going to have a good time, and everything is going to be alright.” Reassure your child that everything is going to be okay.

Travel
Now, here’s the part about sacrifice. If you know anything about investing, you know sometimes you have to invest upfront to get a payoff on the back end. Too often people want the back end payoff but they don’t want to spend time to invest upfront. Here’s the first really significant investment in your child. If you’re a two-parent household, one of the adults rides in the backseat. I know. I know. You want to spend this time with your spouse. You were hoping to be able to talk and hold hands and enjoy driving to Thanksgiving dinner...not be stuck in the back seat. Get over it. You did that last year and what happened? Ten minutes down the street you were pulling over.

We’re going to do something different this year. One parent sits in the backseat. If you are a single parent, you’ve got one child, let your child sit in the front seat with you if they’re old enough. If they’re old enough, let them sit in front with you because that will allow you to have contact with them. Even if they’re old enough to be in a car seat facing away from the airbag toward the seat, let them sit in front with you. That will allow you to have contact with them.

If you have two children, have one sit in the front and one sit in the back. The one sitting in the back should sit on the side behind you on the driver’s side. Why? We don’t want any kicking of the backseat bothering the child sitting up front. Because that’s just more stress. You’ve got one in the front and one in the back so now you’re ready to drive. Have coloring books and other activities for them. I am not against the DVD players. I am not against the CD players. However, my opinion is if you’re going to use those things, you have to cut them off at least a half an hour before you arrive at your destination. If it’s a long drive, I’d say one movie tops. Otherwise you have to cut off at least a half an hour of the movie before your destination. That gives your child’s brain an opportunity to regulate and prepare for the next transition. Keep that in mind. I think the DVD’s and games can be lifesavers. Even so, the Game Boy’s and iPods must turn off a half an hour before arriving. Just let your children know that at that point, you are going to play ‘I Spy’ or sing songs or something else together. By doing this, you are helping them transition and be calmer when you arrive.

Coming Up Next… The Arrival

You have permission to copy this and circulate to as many people as you think can be helped Help us to bring peace on earth and goodwill toward all.

 

Timeless wisdom for preparing yourself and your challenging child for a smooth transition through the Holiday Season. Don’t let your fear of the past haunt you this year. Get Bryan’s 4 Point Plan – Don’t let the holidays just happen!

Holiday book and cd v.2To purchase this twin-pack e-Book and mp3 audio file on sale for only $4.95 click here.

How to Have a Peaceful Holiday Season – Part 6 The Steps

Note: This is a yearly re-broadcast series to help parents prepare for, and have a more peaceful holiday season, we will be presenting the entire contents of my e-Book How to Turn Holiday Stress into Peaceful Family Time – On Sale for the Holidays between now and Christmas.

Don’t let the Holidays sneak up on you—they come every year around the same time. Many of our children have great difficulty staying regulated during this time—as do their parents. Be prepared. Plan ahead. Don’t let your frustration, fear or anger ruin the season. Use the Stress Model to help bring calm and peace on earth and goodwill toward all— especially children and parents!

The Steps
Now let’s examine your child’s holiday schedule from beginning to end. The first thing is morning time. How does your child wake up? Did he have difficulty getting to sleep the night before. I’m talking about Thanksgiving, Christmas and also New Year’s. He may have problems going to sleep the night before. The reason is because there is too much stress in his body due to the excitement of the next day’s events. Make the evening as relaxing as possible. Take a deep breath. Breathe with me. Inhale through your nose. Exhale through your mouth. (four, seven, eight) When doing a relaxation breathing technique, start with a short exhale. You inhale for a count of four. (You hold your breath for a count of seven. (one, two, three, four, five, six, seven) You exhale for a count of eight. (one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight) You do this for three cycles: Four, seven, eight; four, seven, and eight; four, seven, eight. Breathing is the one way to interrupt your stress system so just breathe.

Even before you do the breathing technique, you are realizing something. You’ve been enlightened. You are acknowledging that your child has difficulties. You have accepted it. Now you’re going to do what you can to help make this the best holiday season ever. Keep repeating the relaxation breathing technique to interrupt your stress system.

The Night Before
Before nighttime, turn off the television. Keep it off the entire evening and turn on some nice music. Let the family play a game. What we’re doing now is setting ourselves up for success. As bedtime approaches, your child will feel tired. So read a nice story to your child. Turn the lights down. Sit with them for awhile. Maybe lay down with them. Rock them gently. Be there with them until they relax.

When you’re present and you’re there and you’re calm, then you can help your child be calm. However, what happens if you’re there and you’re thinking that as soon as they go to sleep, you’ll go to Wal-mart? You remember you need to buy another turkey and Wal-mart is open 24 hours a day. If you do that, then you’re going to feel stressed. Your child will sense the stress. It’s not what you say. It’s not what you do. It is how you feel when you’re saying and doing it. Your child feels when you are really being present or if you’re going over your What’s Left list.

I remember when I used to put my daughter to sleep. She was around three years old. I remember taking her into the bedroom and lying down on the bed. It would be around eight o’clock. My wife and I were still going to be up for awhile so I’d be laying there thinking about all of the things I was going to do as soon as she went to sleep. I’d open one eye just to make sure she was falling asleep and she’d have both eyes beaded in on me, watching me. Oh my Gosh! I suddenly realized that she was on to me. I’ve got to relax. Otherwise she’s anxiously waiting for me to leave. So be still. Breathe. Calm down. Relax with your child, and help your child drift off into a relaxing sleep. You can do this because you did your pre-planning. You don’t have to go to Wal-mart for a turkey because you already did that. You’ve already got the things you’re going to need. It’s already taken care of. So now you can relax and help your child fall asleep. Wonderful! Success! Congratulations! You’ve taken the first step in being proactive.

You’ve taken the first step towards having a great holiday season by just slowing down and helping your child rest. Now your child will get a good night’s sleep. Before you go to bed, you’re going to pick out clothes to wear, pack your bags, and you may even put them in the car. You already bought the food. Half of it is already cooked because you cooked it the day before. You’re going to finish up the cooking that you need to cook and go to be bed by midnight. You’re going to have at least seven hours of sleep the day before because remember...you’ve got a window of tolerance as well!

There is only so much stress that you can handle and there is only so much stress that your child can handle. I will promise you one thing. You may even hear my words in the middle of a really stressful situation during your holiday event or family gathering. You may hear my words say if you’re stressed you’re child is going to be stressed out as well. Your child can only be as calm as you are. You’re going to hear those words but you’re going to be proactive. You’re going to take responsibility for your stress. So you’re getting things done. You’re getting to bed at midnight. You’re going to get a good night’s rest. You’re going to wake up early. You’re going to wake up early and take a little quiet time just for yourself, and then you’re going to go to your child’s room. You’re going to sit beside their bed, you’re going to put your hand on their back or on their head and say good morning and say Happy Thanksgiving or Merry Christmas or whatever the situation may be. It’s time to wake up. If it’s Christmas time it’s a lot more exciting. If it’s Christmas, tell your children several days ahead of time what the schedule will be. Either they will wake up and open presents at home and have all day to play or they’ll go to visit relatives and to open presents when they arrive. Be clear. Okay? Make sure they know ahead of time exactly what will happen. At Christmas, it’s especially important to be clear because of all the presents and madness.

Coming Up Next... The Morning

You have permission to copy this and circulate to as many people as you think can be helped Help us to bring peace on earth and goodwill toward all.

Timeless wisdom for preparing yourself and your challenging child for a smooth transition through the Holiday Season. Don’t let your fear of the past haunt you this year. Get Bryan’s 4 Point Plan – Don’t let the holidays just happen!

Holiday book and cd v.2To purchase this twin-pack e-Book and mp3 audio file on sale for only $4.95 click here.

How to Have a Peaceful Holiday Season – Part 5 The Plan Cont’d

The Four Point Plan Cont'd

     Note: This is a yearly re-broadcast series to help parents prepare for, and have a more peaceful holiday season, we will be presenting the entire contents of my e-Book How to Turn Holiday Stress into Peaceful Family Time – On Sale for the Holidays between now and Christmas.
     Don’t let the Holidays sneak up on you—they come every year around the same time. Many of our children have great difficulty staying regulated during this time—as do their parents. Be prepared. Plan ahead. Don’t let your frustration, fear or anger ruin the season. Use the Stress Model to help bring calm and peace on earth and goodwill toward all— especially children and parents!

#1 — Window of Tolerance
Are you excited? We’re excited, aren’t we? Yes! Our first consideration for handling stress is to know that we all have a window of tolerance for how much stress we can manage. How much stress can you handle? Your child has a window of tolerance. Start thinking about this right now. Your child can handle only so much stress before he surpasses his window of tolerance and begins to act out. That can be five minutes. Perhaps ten minutes. Sometimes fifteen minutes. Your child has a window of tolerance and you have a window of tolerance. I want you to think about what that window of tolerance is and keep it in mind. We’ll come back to it.

#2 —Time-In
There are four considerations I want you to keep them in mind. We covered number one. Number two is when your child’s window of tolerance runs out, somebody better be there to help reset that mechanism within their body/mind system that helps them come back inside their window of tolerance. This means that you’re going to do some ‘time-in’ during the holiday season. Keep that in mind, ‘time-in’ instead of time-out. If you’ve ever heard me talk about ‘time in’ before, you know I don’t do time-outs. Time-out comes from an old school of thought, an old paradigm of thought that says children act out for attention. Time-in comes from knowing children act out because they NEED attention, not for attention. If we come from the paradigm that a child is acting for attention, we’re not going to give the child attention. Right? That has been how we’ve always looked at children. We’re going to stop that. That gives the child too much responsibility for what he doesn’t fully have the ability to be responsible for. Don’t do time-out. Do time-in. Children will act for attention. They act out because they need attention. Big difference.

#3 —Proactive
Number three is next. This is the main reason why you’re even listening to this program. It’s about being proactive! What Einstein said isn’t going to apply to you and me. By being proactive, we’re going to take the steps to make sure something different happens. These are the steps to help our holiday season go better this year than ever before.

How can we be proactive? You couldn’t be proactive before. You didn’t know about the window of tolerance. You didn’t know about the need to do time-in. Now you can take the steps necessary to help your child and yourself be successful this holiday season. Perhaps some of you are thinking that maybe you shouldn’t have to do this. Perhaps you’re asking, “Why won’t my child just act right during the holiday season?” You know what? I can’t answer those questions. I can tell you you’re dad-gum right. You DON’T deserve to have struggles during the holiday season. You shouldn’t have to do time in or have to be proactive. You don’t deserve any of that. Unfortunately, the other way isn’t working well. We can’t change the past so we’ve got to do something different. That’s what we’re going to do this year. We’re going to do something about it. We’re going to make it different this year and better than any other time before. That’s why you’re going to be proactive.

#4 —You Can’t Always Be There
Now for number four. I want you to keep something in mind. You can’t always be there for your child. Your child is going to mess up at some point. He’s going to mess up. His window of tolerance is going to be reached and passed. You will forget about doing time-in when you’re right in the middle of a big-o-turkey leg. We can take all measures to be proactive that can possibly been taken. However, nothing you do is going to prevent something from happening. You’ve got to recognize that. Your child is doing the best he can. You’re doing the best that you can. Unfortunately, life is not always 4 Stepsgoing to be perfect. Put that out of your mind! Just know that you can’t prevent every single thing from happening.
You can’t always be there. There will be times when things don’t go right. Just relax and know that no one else is perfect either. Okay, do you have those four things down?

You have permission to copy this and circulate to as many people as you think can be helped Help us to bring peace on earth and goodwill toward all.Timeless wisdom for preparing yourself and your challenging child for a smooth transition through the Holiday Season. Don’t let your fear of the past haunt you this year. Get Bryan’s 4 Point Plan – Don’t let the holidays just happen!

Holiday book and cd v.2To purchase this twin-pack e-Book and mp3 audio file on sale for only $4.95 click here.

How to Have a Peaceful Holiday Season – Part 4 The Plan

The Four Point Plan

     Note: This is a yearly re-broadcast series to help parents prepare for, and have a more peaceful holiday season, we will be presenting the entire contents of my e-Book How to Turn Holiday Stress into Peaceful Family Time – On Sale for the Holidays between now and Christmas.
     Don’t let the Holidays sneak up on you—they come every year around the same time. Many of our children have great difficulty staying regulated during this time—as do their parents. Be prepared. Plan ahead. Don’t let your frustration, fear or anger ruin the season. Use the Stress Model to help bring calm and peace on earth and goodwill toward all— especially children and parents!

I especially want you to think about those two years because you and your child are now conditioned to do the exact same thing over again and again in the future. When children start thinking about their holiday seasons, they go right back to their cellular memory system. They start thinking about the same things they did their previous years. They are not thinking about the problems they had. Remember that stress causes confused and distorted thinking and suppresses the short-term memory. So in the midst of stress, they’re not thinking about what’s coming up Thanksgiving this year. They’re thinking about last year. They’re not thinking about the getting yelled at or being sent into their room for a period of time or being put outside. They’re not thinking about those things. They’re thinking about the excitement. You’re not thinking about those things either. If you had, you would have made sure you took special steps to prevent those things from happening again. But we don’t and they don’t.

That’s why this year is going to be different. This year you have the Post Stress Model to show you how to make changes for a different outcome. The stress model says that, “All behavior arises from a state of stress.” What that means is that when your child was running through your mother’s house and knocked over a family heirloom last year...and it shattered to the floor right in the middle of everyone laughing and talking...and then suddenly everything went silent and everyone looked at your child...and then they looked at you... that behavior arose from a state of stress.

Between behavior and stress is the presence of a primary emotion, love or fear. Love and fear are our only two primary emotions. Love and fear are the only two emotions you need worry about and concern yourself with during this holiday season. There is either love or there is fear...and we know what that fear is like. What we want to do during this program is create a foundation for understanding your child’s stress and their fear so you can own that fear. You can honor that fear. You can validate that fear. You can understand it and then take the steps necessary to help your child manage their own stress, their own window of tolerance. I will talk about their window of tolerance and handling their own stress in a more effective way so that it then correlates to a more successful holiday experience.

You have permission to copy this and circulate to as many people as you think can be helped Help us to bring peace on earth and goodwill toward all.Timeless wisdom for preparing yourself and your challenging child for a smooth transition through the Holiday Season. Don’t let your fear of the past haunt you this year. Get Bryan’s 4 Point Plan – Don’t let the holidays just happen!

 

Holiday book and cd v.2To purchase this twin-pack e-Book and mp3 audio file on sale for only $6.95 click here.

How to Have a Peaceful Holiday Season – Part 3 Plan Ahead

Note: This is a yearly re-broadcast series to help parents prepare for, and have a more peaceful holiday season, we will be presenting the entire contents of my e-Book How to Turn Holiday Stress into Peaceful Family Time – On Sale for the Holidays only $6.95!

Don’t let the Holidays sneak up on you—they come every year around the same time. Many of our children have great difficulty staying regulated during this time—as do their parents. Be prepared. Plan ahead. Don’t let your frustration, fear or anger ruin the season. Use the Stress Model to help bring calm and peace on earth and goodwill toward all— especially children and parents!

Plan Ahead

First, start planning! You’re going shopping. Get it over as quickly as possible. It is not turkey time yet. It’s not Christmas season yet. Locate family recipes you like and create a shopping list. Take a day off from work and do your shopping. Get the turkey to put in the freezer. Buy cranberry sauce and non perishables. Don’t wait until the last minute when everyone else is shopping. Avoid long lines and short tempers.

Taking a day off from work to shop might not feel comfortable for many people in this economy. What’s the first thing that came to mind when I mentioned it? Money. Probably one of the single biggest stressor during the holiday season is financial stress. Money problems are difficult anytime. Financial stress can have a bigger impact during the holiday season. Let’s face it. You feel pressure to buy something everywhere you turn. It’s a racket. The jingles, Christmas carols and nonstop TV commercials are meant to build excitement so you buy. You have every member of the family to buy for. Credit card bills pile up. Hello. The bills don’t go away just because it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas. The post-holiday blues come quickly when the credit card bills arrive. Why do we often buy things we don’t even need during the holidays? Excitement triggers from a tiny mechanism in the brain. It pumps out the stress. We see a shiny red ornament. Because of the distortion of our mind from stress, we think that the shiny red ornament is THE ornament that’s going to look perfect on our Christmas tree. We purchase it for twenty bucks knowing full well that as soon as Christmas is over, the same ornament will drop to two dollars. Why do we purchase it anyway? The moment we purchase it, a chemical interaction within our body/mind system comes up that makes us feel good. The excitement doesn’t last long but it’s strong enough to make us want more little highs from buying the ‘perfect’ gifts.

This is why so many families go into debt during the holidays. Financial stress from holiday over-spending is a problem that can be reduced. What should you do BEFORE you buy the shiny red ornament, or expensive watch or tons of toys the kids will break or soon lose interest in? Before you ever walk into a store, sit down and decide how much money you can comfortably spend during the holiday season. Make this year different. Say what you’ll spend and stick to it. The holiday season is no different than going to Vegas. If you go to Vegas with your credit card in hand and your wallet wide open, you’ll return home broke. It’s almost guaranteed. Holiday spending is like that. This holiday season, take only the cash you feel comfortable spending with you instead of using credit cards. Make a gift list. Purchase only the items listed or equal substitutes. In a separate pocket, put your grocery list, coupons and cash. Buy only what’s listed and nothing extra. Like Vegas, decide what you can afford to lose/spend. Don’t go over your limit. No one will know the difference in how much you spend. However, they can feel when you’re happier and less stressed.

Now let’s talk about your children. All things considered, adults can handle stress better than children.

Well, in most situations, you can at least laugh. Children have a much more difficult time. Here at the Post Institute, we specialize in children who are easily stressed out and extremely sensitive. Many of these children have had significant traumas in their lives, whether they’re biological, adopted, or foster children. That experience creates impairment in their ability to handle significant bursts of stress.

What’s that going to do? It’s going to set them up almost every time for failure. The holiday seasons are

S-T-R-E-S-S-F-U-L-L. This stress is going to make your children almost impossible to deal with because they can’t handle it. They can’t take too much stress. That’s why I mentioned pre-planning for yourself. I mentioned finances and setting a holiday budget you can stick to. Those help you handle stress better.

What about your children? Here’s what you can do to help them. Get out a piece of paper and pen. Sit back and think about the way the last two years of Christmas and Thanksgiving have worked out with your child. Think all the way back to getting up in morning, the long drive/flight to your destination, interacting with family with the friends. Think about mealtimes, the drive home or spending the night away from home, if you did. Think about the night time and events the day after. Heck, throw in the dog chasing the cat and knocking down the Christmas tree if it happened. Think about all those things. Walk your mind through everything that happened over the last two holiday seasons.

Albert Einstein said, “To do the same thing over and over again and to expect a different result is the definition of insanity.” The holiday seasons are insane enough to begin with. You must do something differently if you want a different outcome from what you experienced the last two years. What would you like to see different this year?

You have permission to copy this and circulate to as many people as you think can be helped Help us to bring peace on earth and goodwill toward all.


Timeless wisdom for preparing yourself and your challenging child for a smooth transition through the
Holiday Season. Don’t let your fear of the past haunt you this year. Get Bryan’s 4 Point Plan – Don’t let the holidays just happen!

Holiday book and cd v.2To purchase this twin-pack e-Book and mp3 audio file on sale for only $6.95 click here.